Monday, January 28, 2013

Fortifying for February

January is such a balls month.

It's no November, but it's kind of a kick-to-the-crotch all the same. Christmas is over, leaving behind a sparkle-covered mess in my house, and leaving my ass a comfortable 3-pounds-heavier. The weather varies between freezing rain and freezing cold. The only holiday is a stressful jerk and it's gone before I even have time to register its existence. Fresh fruit and vegetables still cost about as much as a new sofa, and taste about as delicious. I'm officially tired of almost all my winter clothes and going out for anything more than a drink after work has me so cold and tired that I basically carry a duvet with me at all times, out of necessity.

January and I are not on speaking terms.

That being said, there is light on the horizon, both figuratively and literally.There's something wild-eyes crazy about remarking on how "it's still so light out!" at 4:45 in the afternoon, but I say it all the same. We're almost at the point where I see sunlight when I leave for work and when I come back from it, which is a wonderful, marvelous development.

But I can do better.

I've been loosely following The January Cure on Apartment Therapy, and even though I knew from the start I wouldn't be able to do it exactly right, it's helped sort of shape me into both enjoying my space and recognizing what needs to be done. So far I've:

  • Day 1: Make a list of projects for 2013
  • Day 2: Set up an outbox  - a pair of bags in my kitchen, one to consign, one to give away
  • Day 3: Buy Flowers, Clean Floors, Switch to Green Cleaners: One of these got done. Prizes to who can guess what!  (At $5 a pop for a bouquet at the nearby grocery store, pampering is easy) When the current products are finished, I'll look into replacing them with green cleaners. I'm going to bribe The Boy with beef jerky to get the floors clean. There's just no way around it.
  • Day 4: Fresh perspective - sit on my ass and stare? Done.
  • Day 6: Choose a Piece of Artwork and Frame it - Framed 3 pieces, actually. One's up at my office at work, the other two will be hung tonight!
  • Day 8: Clean the Kitchen, Buy Flowers, Make a Meal - This was a half-assed day for sure. The flowers still looked awesome so I didn't buy new ones. The dog was staying with me that week and I was all alone so, while I washed the counters and stove top, threw out old food and did dishes, the hairballs that made their way into ever nook and cranny of my kitchen remained free-range and liberated. Plus, with only the two of us there (and one of us not allowed to eat people food) a meal was kind of superfluous. Made lobster for the first time when The Boy came home. Close enough.
  • Day 9: Create and Clean out a Landing Strip - (someone should really tell the good people at AT what that sounds like). Now have a place to put all papers as they come in before they're dumped, a tray to hold magazines, etc.
  • Day 10: Work on Your Goal Project - Picked a project from the aforementioned list and finished it - put up a shelf in the spare room, put out the water glass/carafe i'd received for Christmas on it + fancy Kleenex (3 ply + lotion, emeffers! How do you like me now, Hilton?!)
  • Day 12: Declutter Books and Media - we did a fair bit of this when we moved, but there's still more to go. I threw out 4 books (a triumph for me!) and we organized all of The Boy's DVDs into a DVD tower we bought off Kijiji. I still want to empty out another holder of magazines, throw away the jewel cases of my CDs to put them in a sleeve and give away some more books, so we'll call this half-done.
  • Day 16: Clean out Bathroom Shelves/Medicine Cabinet - I don't actually have much bathroom storage in the Tiny House but there's a corner shelf in the hallway that holds baskets of samples, extra medical supplies, perfumes, etc. I cleaned those shelves out as well as my makeup. Gave away some more stuff, threw out stuff that was gross. Felt most excellent.
  • Day 17: Looking at Living Room Lighting - This was actually a big one for us since, in the winter the living room can feel decidedly dark. We had an electrician come in last month to put in some plugs in the basement and we picked his brain on overhead lighting. It looks like we'll put in a chandelier this year, we're just looking at our choices on Etsy now. I think want one made of antlers. I don't know why, I just do. 
Probably because of this.
Courtesy of : 
Of the challenges left, they basically fall into three categories.

1) The Stuff I Have to get Around to - Days slipped away from me here and there but I still want to clean the bathroom, re-clean the kitchen and vacuum the bedroom. I'll try to put some papers away this weekend as well, even if it's technically February. And my parents have (very kindly) offered to take my "outbox" stuff and donate it when a charity calls to collect so that'll get done this week.

2) The Stuff I Kind of Screwed Up On- I bought the flowers the first weekend and loved the idea of fresh flowers making my kitchen smell nice. They lasted well into day 12 but now, on day 19... they could be nicer. I mean, they still emit a smell but not one you'd want to pitch to the good people at Febreeze, y'know? I also never took a photo of my "before" project so there is also no photo of the "after" Although, it was just a shelf so... |-------| <--- that basically does it.

3) The Stuff I'm Just Plain Not Gonna Do - Organize all my cords? I'm thinking no. The only place they congregate in any kind of number is under my tv unit and we kinda half-assedly cleaned up that system already. There's not enough of them to really bother labelling and colour-coding the whole affair. We good. A media fast? Get between me and my Community DVDs and there will be pain.

So, all that to say I've enjoyed the "January Cure" and found it useful, especially in a month where motivation is as hard to find as natural sources of Vitamin D.  I'm trying to use January as a catapult to a better, brighter, February, enrolling in yoga classes (a post for another day), resolving to cook more instead of eating out, and trying to adhere to a new challenge, SmartCanucks' Frugal February.

On that note, I'm also going to give NaBloPoMo another try. The February theme is "Love and Sex" so please look forward to my blog posts completely eschewing those subject in favour of discussing my unending cravings for quality cheeses. I absolutely bombed my last attempt a one-a-day blog posting, so let's see if having only 28 days in a month makes things go any smoother.

Catch you on the flipside of January, homeslices.

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